What is SMR (self-myofascial release)?

Published by : | January 16 2020

Do you know what self-myofascial release (SMR) is? Recently, there has been an
increase amount of information showing that it helps relieve muscle soreness and
improve mobility. Therefore, what is it and how does it work?

SMR is a technique used in rehabilitation to improve recovery and increase myofascial mobility. It incorporates using your body weight to apply a steady pressure or a rolling motion onto a targeted soft tissue. Soft tissues include muscles, tendons, and fascia.The pressure put on these structures is said to have a similar effect to deep tissue massage. It works by releasing restrictions between the fibrous layers of the tissue which decrease pain, improve mobility, prevent injury, and improve function.

How do you use it as a recovery tool?

SMR is still being heavily researched but current literature has demonstrated that it can relieve acute muscle pain and reduce the presence of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) after an intense work out. The technique of applying and releasing pressure on a muscle belly increases blood circulation which supports the recovery process. It is theorized that SMR can also provide positive neurological effects. By decreasing the neuromuscular excitability of a muscle you can reduce muscle spasm, tension, and pain.

How to do it?

SMR is a helpful solution to muscle pain because it can be done by yourself, quickly
and with very little equipment. It can be done with using different tools like foam rollers or just a tennis/lacrosse ball.

To perform self-myofascial release with a tennis/lacrosse ball, place the ball on the wall and position your body so that the ball is pinned between the sore muscle and the wall. With your body weight apply a firm pressure into the muscle tissue for about 30 seconds to a minute. The pressure should be enough that the muscle releases in that 30 second time frame. Repeat this procedure as necessary over different points of that specific muscle belly. If the deep pressure is too intense try performing small rolling movements on the ball.

Completing SMR against the wall is a great way to start to be able to gauge the amount of pressure yourself. If more pressure is required use the same techniques off the floor by having gravity assist you with increased pressure.

That is how you complete self-myofascial release techniques to decrease pain and
muscle soreness, improve mobility and functionality, and prevent potential injuries. If you have any questions about self-myofascial release or if you’d like to consult a
clinician, you can book online or give us a call!

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